One of my high school buddies had an unfortunately long and harrowing relationship with unemployment draw to an end last year and his first assignment was in India. I was happy for his oppertunity but sad it wasn’t me going so far away. But I satisfied my envy with his pictures. They were mesmerizing. He is an engineer and probably doesn’t think of himself as a storyteller but I think his images in India capture and tell the story of his sojourn there. They are all beautifully composed and completely without pretense. Simple pointing and shooting things he witnessed.
I love this picture because it tells at least three stories of three different lives one evening in December: My eye was first drawn to the young woman with her head down (modesty? or against a noxious smell?), her sari thrown over her head a little haphazardly and distinctly different from her skirt. Perhaps she discovered she had forgotten something for the family meal and it was necessary to make a dash through the streets to the market. Or she could be the mother and wife to the man and child ahead of her. The young father with the large bag over his shoulder could be escorting his son home after school. He is leaning down as he converses with his child, gentle words, given the repose of his jaw and body language. The young men in the background are all turning towards a tall boy, their attention and laughter focused on him as if he is telling a joke or funny story. The laughter must be so raucous it has drawn the attention of the furthest seller and he has turned his head quickly to the laughter, wishing he could join in.
I wish I knew what the joke was that December evening somewhere in India.